Over the past week, two battles have been fought on the borders of Georgia and South Ossetia; a military campaign, and a fight for the airwaves. In both, the BBC has found itself in the middle. 

Last week, a BBC team was filming near the Georgian town of Gori when a Russian fighter jet opened fire on them. My colleagues were lucky - others have been less so. Five news staff - four journalists and a driver - have been killed since the fighting erupted. Others have been threatened and robbed at gunpoint by paramilitaries. War is a dangerous business.

The battle for public opinion has been just as intense. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, viewers to BBC World News - including those up late in the UK - were treated to the extraordinary sight of my colleague Nik Gowing conducting a live interview with Georgian President Saakashvili in his war room during World News America.

The President, "Dad's-Army" style, used a pen to point to a map detailing the latest Russian advance - and this at 3am in the morning in Tbilisi! It's one of around half a dozen interviews President Saakashvili has done with the BBC in the past seven days. For the BBC to have access to someone so influential, as a key moment, is of course vital to our storytelling. But that level of access also carries with it an inherent danger. We need to ensure balanced coverage. Fortunately, during the past week, the BBC has had interviews with the Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, the deputy Prime Minister, Mr Ivanov and yesterday, viewers to BBC One were treated to a live interview with a Russian General speaking fluent English, sitting in our studio in Moscow. Another first.

But war, is not only dangerous, it's also dirty. Separating fact from fiction is hard - but it's vital. On 10 August, Russia's English language news channel Russia Today, reported that the death toll in South Ossetia had reached 2,000. While the BBC has Matthew Collin permanently based in Tbilisi - and we were quickly able to reinforce him with colleagues from Moscow and London - getting access to South Ossetia has proved more difficult.

Yesterday colleagues from Danish and Canadian broadcasters were robbed close to the border. It's not been safe enough to travel from Tbilisi to the town of Tskhinvali in South Ossetia, the scene, say the Russians of destructuction at the hands of the Georgians. Not until Wednesday - six days after the first shots were fired - was a BBC team able to get in to see what had happened for themselves, and then only in the company of Russian officials. It's clear there's been great suffering in both Georgia and South Ossetia, but it's proved impossible for us to verify that figure of 2,000 dead.

And for people, like journalists, who deal in facts, that means war is dangerous, dirty...and frustrating.


separate區分,識別  分開;脫離;分手;分散  離析;析出
borders邊界,邊境,國界
military 軍事的;軍用的
campaign戰役 運動,活動 競選運動
colleagues 同事,同僚,同行
staff 職員  工作人員
erupted噴出;爆發
threatened 受到威脅的
gunpoint 槍口
paramilitaries準軍事部隊
intense強烈的,劇烈的;極度的
up late 熬夜
extraordinary 異常的;特別的,破例的;非凡的  離奇的,使人驚奇的  特命的,特派的
detailing 詳述,詳細說明  選派,派遣
influential有影響的;有權勢的
vital 重要器官 重要部分,要害
storytelling 講故事;寫故事
inherent 內在的;固有的,與生俱來的
ensure 保證;擔保  使安全,保護
coverage覆蓋,覆蓋範圍 保險項目 信貸準備金 新聞報導
deputy 代理的;副的
fluent 流利的,流暢的
studio 電影攝影棚;電影製片廠;廣播電視公司 工作室,畫室;雕塑室 攝影室;照相館 播音室;錄音室;錄像室;灌唱片室
death toll 死亡人數
permanently 永久地;長期不變地
reinforce  增加,補充 增援,加強
broadcasters 廣播電臺;電視臺;廣播(或電視)公司  廣播員
suffering (身體,精神上的)痛苦,苦惱[U]  勞苦;苦難的經歷;令人痛苦的事
verify 證明,證實  核對,查實;查清
figure 數字
frustrating令人洩氣的,使人沮喪的

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